A Suffragette with links to Wrexham has featured in an important new exhibition which tells the story of how women fought to have their say in Parliament.
The battle to earn women the right to vote – won 100 years ago, in 1918 – is detailed in Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament.
Located at Westminster Hall in London, the free exhibition tells the often turbulent story of the Suffragette movement – and it even features an activist who had connections with Wrexham.
Speaking about the exhibition, Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said that “it is important the people of Wrexham come and hear the story of this hidden history”
“The town has its own links to the Suffragette movement and, if any of my constituents are in London this summer, then I’d urge them to pay a visit to this fascinating exhibition,” he continued.
“Not only should we remember those who fought for the democratic rights we have now, but I would urge everyone to make their voices heard in our democracy today.”
The exhibition marks 100 years since The Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and some women (those over the age of 30 who met a property qualification).
Wrexham has its own place in Suffragette history.
The leader of militant suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst, spoke to a large crowd at the Drill Hall on Poyser Street in January 1912, while in September of the same year a suffragette called Kitty Marion heckled future prime minister Lloyd George during his speech at the Gorsedd Ceremony of the National Eisteddfod of Wales, held in Wrexham’s Bellevue Park.
The crowd savagely attacked her, with photographs of the incident appearing in the national press and questions asked in Parliament.
Wrexham was also home to a non-militant branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Their meetings were attended by Liverpool activist Muriel Matters, who has her own section at the Voice and Vote exhibition.
Two people whose names are on the plinth dedicated to NUWSS founder Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square also worked regularly with the Wrexham branch – Maud Royden and Mrs Raffles-Bulley.
Melanie Unwin, co-curator of the Voice and Vote exhibition, promises visitors will be ‘immersed in lost historical spaces’. Rare historic exhibits from around the country, some of which have never been on public display before, help to tell the story of the battle for women to gain the right to vote.
The exhibition runs until October 6. Capacity is limited so advance booking is recommended. Further information can be found here.
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